03.10.20

ON THE HEELS OF +$1.5 MILLION IN FUNDING FROM APPALACHIAN REGIONAL COMMISSION FOR SOUTHERN TIER NETWORK IN CORNING, SCHUMER CALLS FOR EDA TO IMMEDIATELY AWARD A MATCHING $1.5 MILLION IN FEDERAL DOLLARS TO GET CRITICAL BROADBAND PROJECT STARTED ASAP

ARC Funding Will Be Used To Increase Corning’s Internet Connection Redundancy & Resilience; However, Additional Federal Funding Is Needed For This Regional Investment To Start 

Schumer Calls For $1.5M To Bring High-Speed Internet To Steuben, Schuyler, Chemung, Yates, Tompkins, & Tioga Counties

Schumer to EDA: It’s Time to Advance This Critical Project For The Southern Tier

Following a recent federal funding award of $1,552,594 from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for the Southern Tier Network, Inc. (STN) in Corning, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today called on the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to approve a further $1.5 million that would provide the final piece of funding to revitalize STN’s high speed network that spans six New York counties, including Steuben, Schuyler, Chemung, Yates, Tompkins, and Tioga. The grant from the EDA is needed to match the ARC funding, which was announced last month.

The already secured funding from ARC will help to ensure reliable high-speed internet access that can withstand an outage. This project is in response to a December 2018 car accident that knocked out a telephone pole and resulted in a wide-spread internet outage across the region. Specifically, the funding will increase the network’s redundancy and resilience, allowing data to travel along different routes to maintain internet access even in the event of a localized service outage, and improving critical internet service for new and existing businesses, education and healthcare facilities, and emergency services.

“In today’s modern economy, access to reliable, fast internet service is crucial to a community’s success,” said Senator Schumer. “The recently announced ARC investment was an important step forward in building out reliable internet service for the Southern Tier, but now the EDA must act to bring this critical project to fruition. The EDA should expeditiously approve the further federal investment required for delivering improved, more reliable internet services that the Southern Tier needs and deserves.”

In 2019, STN applied to the EDA’s Public Works grant program for funding to construct a high capacity fiber optic capable in order to strengthen its 500+ mile optical network. The proposed regional build will improve high-speed internet access for most of the Southern Tier of New York. As part of their network, STN serves local businesses, governments, schools, and hospitals, serving a vital role in the daily lives of many Upstate New York communities. While the ARC funding is key to this project’s success, without additional investment from the EDA, this work will not move forward, jeopardizing a central regional priority of ensuring fast, reliable internet service.

A copy of the letter appears below:

Dear Secretary Ross:

I am pleased to write in support of Southern Tier Network, Inc.'s (STN) application to the United States Economic Development Administration's (EDA) Public Works grant program for funding to construct high capacity fiber optic cable in order to create a redundant and diverse pathway within its 500+ mile optical network.

With funding, STN proposes a regional build, which will improve their high speed network in six New York counties, including Steuben, Schuler, Chemung, Yates, Tompkins and Tioga. The additional fiber optic pathways are essential to strengthening the integrity of the STN high-speed broadband network and ensuring that local businesses, government, schools and hospitals retain fast and reliable internet service. These diverse routes are strategically planned to provide “ring redundancy,” mitigating future service outages.

I applaud Southern Tier Network, Inc. for their foresight, and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval.

Thank you for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my Grants Coordinator in my Washington, DC office at 202-224-6542.

Sincerely,

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